The portfolio of projects of the Smart Specialization Strategy is the result of an extensive consultation process of key actors at the regional level, especially through the Entrepreneurial Discovery Process (EDP) workshops, but also through other methods, especially open announcements, launched In this regard.
The entire EDP process was based on the methodology made available by the Joint Research Center of the European Commission, also applied in the Strategy development process in the period 2016-2018. By organizing EDP-type focus groups, a transparent and upward process was ensured, with a systematic and interactive approach, with the main focus on business needs, research and innovation.
The entrepreneurial discovery process (EDP) had two fundamental objectives:
i. Confirming the relevance of the smart specialization areas of the region, and making possible additions within the niches, areas and pillars of the strategy
II. Updating the project portfolio for the 2021-2027 programming period, considered to be the key element for implementing and updating the Strategy.
Thus, in November 2019, the process of entrepreneurial discovery was resumed, with the following workshops being organized:
- 3 workshops in the fields "Advanced production technologies", "Information and communication technology" and "Health and Cosmetics and food supplements", on November 26, 2019 in Cluj-Napoca.
11 representatives from three companies, the Cluj-Napoca Technical University, the Cluj IT Cluster and some consulting firms participated in the workshop dedicated to the "Advanced Production Technologies" field.
The entrepreneurial discovery workshop for "Information and Communication Technology" showed interest for 11 representatives of the key actors in the quadruple helix system, as follows: the economic environment: 5 companies, the academic environment and Innovation and Technology Transfer Entities: Cluj-Technical University Napoca, and Babeș Bolyai University, non-governmental organizations (NGO, Cluster). The public administration was not represented.
The workshop dedicated to a mix of fields "Health and Cosmetics and food supplements" brought together 29 key actors from the quadruple helix system, as follows: representatives from 7 regional companies (medical and tic fields), academia and innovation entities and technological transfer: 13 representatives of which 3 from Cluj-Napoca Technical University, 4 from Babeș Bolyai University, 4 USAMV representatives and 2 from research institutes (ICB and INCDTIM), as well as 8 representatives of NGOs (RoHealth Cluster, Gal Leader Cluj, other NGOs). No representatives of the Public Authorities were present. During this workshop, two ideas were proposed and developed, one in the field of Health, prevention and oncological treatment, the second in the field of Food Supplements.
As a result of the event organized in November 2019, based on the feedback received from the participants, it was decided that there is a need to organize preparatory actions of entrepreneurial discovery workshops throughout the region. Thus, in January and February, several round tables or bilateral meetings were organized with companies, public authorities, chambers of commerce: January 15-16 Bistrița, January 22 Zalău, January 29-30 Satu-Mare, February 5-6 Baia Mare , February 12-13 Oradea, February 18-19 Bistrița and Lunca Ilvei (Bistrița-Năsăud county), February 25 Zalău.
During these meetings, the concept of Intelligent Specialization was promoted, the fields and niches included in the strategy, the organization methodology and the purpose of the intelligent specialization workshops, the need for innovation and the definition of innovation were discussed. The types of projects that want to be identified as a result of the Preselection Call were discussed.
In March 2020, the following workshops were organized:
- 2 workshops, in the fields "Agrifood" and "Health", on March 3, 2020 in Cluj-Napoca
A total of 23 key actors from the quadruple helix system, from seven companies, USAMV Cluj, Agro Transilvania Cluster, Gal Napoca Porolissum, as well as other types of entities participated in the entrepreneurial discovery workshop in the "Agrifood" field, as well as other types of entities: consulting firms and banks. No representatives of public authorities were present. Although over 20 ideas were discussed and presented at the workshop, none of the ideas were developed, as the vast majority of participants were researchers. The presence of entrepreneurs at this workshop was relatively low, not being able to create synergies between those present.
22 representatives of the key players in the quadruple helix system participated in the workshop on "Health". Along with entrepreneurs from 7 companies, representatives of the Romanian Institute of Science and Technology, the Iuliu Hațieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, the Technology Transfer Center of the UMF, as well as the Transilvania Lifestyle Cluster, the Cluj IT Cluster, and a consulting firm also participated and a bank. The Sălaj County Council was the only public authority present.
- 2 other workshops in the fields "Advanced Manufacturing Technologies" and "Health and Cosmetics and food supplements", in Oradea, on March 4, 2020.
The mix of actors and the ideal number of participants was met at the entrepreneurial discovery workshop dedicated to "Advanced Production Technologies", where the 30 participants represented: 19 companies, 5 members of the University of Oradea, 3 representatives of NGOs: Cluster Zepher, the Association of Bihorene Companies and the Oradea Local Development Association, as well as 3 representatives of the Oradea town hall. At the advanced production technologies workshop, 22 ideas were presented, and 6 of them were developed by those present. These more mature project ideas will participate in the pre-selection call to create the smart specialization project portfolio of the region.
Only 6 companies in the fields of medicine, food supplements and cosmetics and one consulting firm participated in the workshop on the fields of "Health and Cosmetics and food supplements".
- 2 workshops in the fields "Advanced Manufacturing Technologies" and "Information and Communication Technology", on March 9, 2020, in Cluj-Napoca.
The EDP dedicated to "Information and Communication Technology" was attended by 12 people, representatives of 8 companies, 1 representative of the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, 1 representative of the Cluj IT Cluster and 1 representative of the Romanian Institute of Science and Technology. Two of the ideas presented and developed during the workshop have the necessary maturity to be included in the RIS3 project portfolio, if the promoters will submit them in the preselection call.
A total of 17 representatives of the key actors in the quadruple helix system participated in the workshop focused on the fields of "Advanced Production Technologies", as follows: 8 companies from the region, the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, and the Romanian Institute of Science and Technology representing the university environment and research, two consulting firms, the Transilvan Furniture Cluster, a banking institution, BRD SG. No representatives of public authorities participated.
On March 10, 2020, a Call for the preselection of the portfolio of integrated projects in the fields of intelligent specialization was launched. The aim of the call is to build a portfolio of project ideas from the RIS3 smart specialization areas in the North-West region and support them to be successfully implemented in the 2021-2027 programming period. A first stage of this process is the pre-selection, the objective being to provide an open framework for the identification of these project ideas, through a transparent process, based on the principle of equal opportunities/non-discrimination. Two types of project ideas will be funded: Projects type A: support structures for smart specialization projects and Projects type B: research-innovation projects and investments in areas of smart specialization.